Susan Barrett

Implementing PBIS in Schools

Posted on December 19, 2013

Susan Barrett (bio) talks about creating an implementation plan for PBIS.

One of the things that we have is we do an annual spring event in Maryland, and we bring administrators into a forum to talk about what it is. We bring schools in to sort of brag about the impact that it's had on their climate, on the organizational health, on teacher performance, on student performance.

They do sort of a little bragging session, and then we say, "If you're still interested, given what you've learned, here's some things that we're going to ask you to do before you come to the training."

We're going to ask you to identify team members. We're going to ask you to do a self-assessment and get your teachers to give feedback about what they see as a priority for improvement, because we really need to secure staff buy-in in order to make this happen.

It's very much on a volunteer basis, and a willingness to say, "You know what? We've got a problem. We've got a high rate of office referrals. We've got a high rate of suspensions. We need to do things differently. And excluding kids from our school community isn't getting us anywhere."

We've got this sort of replacement strategy, and we're going to start to hone in and use that instructional approach I was just talking about. And, it's as much as working with the adults in the building as it is for the kids, and making sure that they've got sort of a paradigm shift in thinking that, "I just can't send kids to the office and expect the behavior's going to change. In fact, I actually need to be part of the solution, and I need to be developing relationships with kids so we can do a better job together."

After that event, the administrator then creates a team. The district assigns a behavior support coach that coaches them through the process, and then they come back to training. And we do a two-day facilitated action planning training, and we anchor our training materials off of a fidelity of implementation measure called the benchmarks of quality.

We really take these specific training modules and guide them through a process so they action plan, and at the end of those two days, they have an implementation plan that guides specific action steps that will carry them forward through that year, and we ask them to collect data, and we install a computer application.

And so, it's really — and then the coach supports the implementation across the year, too. So they've got some guidance and — because, again, we know that it doesn't apply unless you've got that support, unless you've got performance feedback, unless you've got leadership that's guiding.


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